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School-to-Work Programs

Barrow County School System's Special Education services include several valuable school-to-work programs. Expand the areas below to learn about Youth Employment Services (YES), Student Transition Enrichment Program (STEP), and Project Search.

Goodwill of North Georgia’s YES program is a partnership between the Barrow County School System and employers to empower our youth. Goodwill staff works with participants of the youth job training program to set career goals and equip students with the necessary skills to enter the workforce. YES participants earn high school credit for job readiness training classes and paid work experience. The YES program has three phases:

  1. One transition class at Sims Academy during the fall semester of senior year (earns one elective credit).
  2. A Paid Internship in the spring of senior year if the student has proven to be motivated and reliable (earns one elective credit).
  3. Full-time job placement after graduation.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Senior in high school and on-track to graduate
  • Has a current IEP
  • Third-grade reading level or higher
  • Goal of full-time employment after high school
  • On GVRA caseload

The Student Transition Enrichment Program (STEP) is a full-time, yearlong, school-to-work transition program is for students with significant cognitive disabilities who have the goal of supported employment after high school. The STEP program provides supported work experiences in a variety of community business settings, as well as within the Sims Academy coffee shop, school store, cafeteria and various CTAE classrooms. It also gives students the opportunity to practice self-determination, self-advocacy and independent living skills. This program has an application process and students must be accepted for the IEP Team to consider this service.

To be eligible for STEP, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Significant cognitive disability
  • Graduation requirements completed
  • 18 to 21 years-of-age
  • Motivated to work
  • Goal of supported employment after high school
  • Receptive to direction and feedback

Project SEARCH is a yearlong, school-to-work transition program targeting older high school students with significant disabilities. This innovative program, originating at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has prepared young adults to find success in integrated, competitive employment sites both nationally and internationally. It is driven by a collaboration of community partners all centered on providing employment opportunities to students with disabilities. The Barrow County Project SEARCH program is a collaboration between the school system, The Wimberly Center for Community Development as the host business site, The Winder Housing Authority, Goodwill of North Georgia and Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.

During the student’s final year of high school, interns practice and refine their employability skills through three, 10-week internships solely at the host business site. As the year progresses, student interns create an employment goal with the assistance of their support team. Job placement by the end of the internship, or within six months of program completion, is the ultimate goal for 100% of the interns. Also notable, Project SEARCH graduates receive effective follow-along services to gain and retain employment after they complete the program. This program has a comprehensive application process and students must be accepted for the IEP Team to consider this service.

To be eligible for Project SEARCH, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Cognitive or developmental disability
  • 18-21 years-of-age
  • Appropriate hygiene, social and communication skills
  • Ability to take direction and change behavior
  • Pass drug screen and background check
  • Goal of competitive employment after high school
  • On GVRA caseload

Want to Learn More about Project Search?

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